(Giveaway ends June 29, 2012)
Welcome to FIVE QUESTIONS, Jessica! Your debut, Love On the Range, came out in April through Love Inspired Historical. I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism so the subject of your story is close to my heart. Here you go, folks. We’re giving you the inside scoop about Love on the Range!
Any other socialite would view being packed off to a remote Oregon ranch as a punishment. But Gracelyn Riley knows that this is her opportunity to become a real reporter. If she can make her name through an interview with the elusive hero known as Striker, then she’ll never have to depend on anyone ever again.
Rancher Trevor Cruz can’t believe his secret identity is being endangered by an overly chatty city girl. But if there’s one thing he knows, it’s that Gracie’s pretty little snooping nose is bound to get her in trouble. So he’ll use her determination to find “Striker” to keep an eye on her…and stick close by her side.
1. This sounds fascinating! What is the first interaction between your hero and heroine like?
A little on the tense side. They have differing opinions on a lot of things. He’s dark and suspicious, she’s bright and naïve.
2. It sounds like they’d complement each other well…once they got past a few sparks. Tell us a little about “Striker”. Why does your hero have a secret identity?
Mostly for protection. It’s harder for bad guys to get revenge when they don’t know the agent’s real name.
3. Gracie sounds far from a typical socialite. What has made her such a go-getter?
She has strong opinions and isn’t the shy or timid type. Also, the things her family wants to give her aren’t really the things she wants, so she kind of has to fight for what she wants while staying true to her values (such as honoring her parents).
4. This was your first time going through the editorial process. Will you tell us a little about what that experience was like?
I thought it was very interesting. Challenging in some ways but fun in others. I’m hoping someday I’ll sell another book so I can go through it again! lol
5. Now that Love on the Range has been release, what is your next project?
I have a contemporary on submission but I’m also working on another historical with some of the secondary characters from Love On The Range.
We’ll definitely be on the look out for those. Thank you for stopping by! Before you go, ask and answer your own question.
BONUS:Do you like chocolate as much as Gracie does?
Why yes, yes I do. My favorite is dark, especially if it has a raspberry filling. What’s your favorite?
Mmm. I love milk chocolate with hazelnut or cinnamon. Ladies, take a sneak peak at Love on the Range then let us know how you take your cocoa.
A shadow fell over her. “Ma’am, is this seat open?”
Gracie looked up. The man beside her waited for an answer. With the setting sun behind him, the broad brim of his cowboy hat shadowed his face and hid all but his straight nose and strong chin.
“Yes, it is.” The bench at the other end of the platform held a family whose kids shrieked and laughed. Smiling, she moved to the side for the stranger. She remembered seeing him on the train, a lone figure in a back seat. Aloof and unapproachable.
Some exotic, spicy scent filled the air as he sat, and she slid him a look. He was rather handsome, though not in the way she was used to. This man wouldn’t fit in at a fancy Boston dinner party. His broad shoulders and tanned skin spoke of a ruggedness to which she was quite unaccustomed. These attributes intrigued her.
What did he do for a living? For the first time since embarking on this wretched trip, her fingers itched to jot down observations on the small pad of paper she always kept nearby.
The stranger must have felt her scrutiny because he took his hat off, placed it in his lap and eyed her in return.
A jagged scar traveled from above his right brow, down his cheekbone to the hairline near his ear. Striker was also rumored to be scarred, though she’d not heard of where in particular. No doubt Striker bore many evidences of his heroic feats. Her gaze traced the puckered skin on the stranger’s face. Perhaps she should’ve felt embarrassed to have been caught staring. But after the emotional upheaval of being forced to leave home and left to flounder alone on a loud, smelly train, the tiny flicker of interest flaring within caught her by surprise and loosened her tongue.
“How do you do, sir?” She held out her hand in the way she’d lately observed others from the barren West do.
He didn’t shake her hand. Instead, one thick black brow rose.
Gracie struggled to keep the polite smile on her face as she withdrew her unshaken hand. Shame flooded through her. So much for skirting her gentle upbringing. She fiddled with the folds of her dress suit.
The stranger’s gaze was dark, his eyes shards of obsidian. His strong jaw emphasized narrow cheekbones while that wicked-looking scar slashed angrily across his features. Not a face as perfect as Hugh’s or Father’s, but overall, quite an interesting study. He stared at her in such an odd way, cold and intent. Her throat clenched.
Excerpt © Harlequin Enterprises. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Nelson, in keeping with her romantic inclinations, married two days after she graduated high school. She believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life.
Five Questions will return next week with a new author interview and giveaway! Sorry for the long break but I have been pretty exhausted of late. After five years of school and a revision deadline, my body and mind are worn out. I would love to go on a long vacation but I don’t see that in the future for me just now. Sooo ladies…do y’all have any fun/relaxing staycation ideas that I can implement close to home?
Things I have done so far:
1. A day trip with a friend. It was awesome! I had so much fun. If you missed my blog about it, find it here.
2. My first ever massage! I had a knot in my shoulder after all that writing and ended up paying one of those folks in the mall to give me a back rub. It hurt sooo bad! However, I haven’t had any trouble since.
That’s all I’ve done. Pretty lame, huh? That’s why I need your awesome ideas. Even small things help so please share!
Be back soon!